the Japanese Defense Ministry’s Acquisition and Technology Logistics Agency (ATLA) is planning to develop long-range air-to-surface cruise missiles to bolster the defence capabilities of the country’s remote southwestern islands. The plan is aimed at boosting Japan’s deterrence by extending the range of its first domestically developed supersonic air-launched anti-ship missile (ASM), known as the ASM-3, to more than 400 km. Despite its development being completed in 2017 the missile was not deployed because its range (200 km) was deemed too short. The extended range is believed to be developed in response to countering the Chinese Navy’s long range air-defense. The missile may be used by the F-2’s successor once the aircraft retires in the 2030’s.
The ASM-3 (formerly known as the XASM-3) anti-ship missile can take either a direct course of travel when launched low near the edge of the targeted vessel’s radar range, or instead it may take a “pop-up” profile, climbing high from a low angle of launch or instead staying at an already high altitude from an elevated attack approach. Survivability of the firing F-2 is of chief concern in either attack scenario. A direct and low attack allows the F-2 to fly under the radar, while the “pop-up” profile may put the F-2 within radar detection range, but beyond the scope of the targeted ship’s SAMs. Japan’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) is also planning on employing the ramjet propulsion system and inertial/composite guidance technology of the ASM-3 to design a land-based, truck mounted variant, as well as a ship-based version with longer range
The ASM-3 is an supersonic anti-ship missile being developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to replace the ASM-1 and ASM-2 missiles. The major launch platform is the Mitsubishi F-2. The ASM-3 is an supersonic anti-ship missile being developed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to replace the ASM-1 and ASM-2 missiles. The major launch platform is the Mitsubishi F-2. The missile will be used by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. n November 2015, the Ministry of Defense (Japan) announced it would conduct a live-fire experiment of the XASM-3 in 2016, targeting the decommissioned ship JDS Shirane. In February 2017, an F-2 carried out a jettison test of the missile as a precursor to a live firing. Mass production is planned to begin in 2018. Footage of a test launch was released in August 2017.